GRHS Graduates 135 Students in the Class of 2024

GRHS Graduates 135 Students in the Class of 2024

Destyni German and Traijyn Jakubowski smile after receiving their diplomas. SweetwaterNOW photos by Olivia Kennah

GREEN RIVER — Green River High School’s Class of 2024 graduated Monday night, marking the end of their high school careers.

The commencement kicked off with the GRHS symphonic band performing the “Processional” as the 135 graduates entered the gymnasium and took their seats. The Color Guard was then presented by BSA Troop 312, before the GRHS senior choir members sang the National Anthem. Graduate Destyni German, 2023-24 student body president, was the Master of Ceremonies and helped direct the evening.

Assistant Superintendent and HR Director Jason Fuss gave the welcome speech and told the graduates to continue to be the change they want to see in the world.

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“The future is bright, and we, your Sweetwater family, will be cheering you on,” he said.

Quinn Kalinski, GRHS band teacher and the Class of 2024’s Distinguished Teacher, then gave the commencement address. He told the graduates that they have reached the summit of their high school careers, and this, along with their many successes throughout their four years, is “nothing short of extraordinary.”

To send the Class of 2024 off with some words of wisdom, he told them to “never underestimate the power of kindness”, “never stop learning”, and “never lose sight of who you are and what you believe in.”

Following a performance of “Salvation” by the symphonic band, Adara Akin gave the opening address to her fellow graduates. She told her classmates that she believes that being in their company, she is surrounded by the most intelligent people she will ever meet, and she is proud to be among them.

“I am proud to be a daughter, I am proud to be a sister, I am proud to be a woman, I am proud to be a friend, a classmate, a role model, I am proud to be a stupid 18-year-old kid who is about to start her adult life. But most of all, in this moment, I am proud to be a wolf,” she said.

Akin also touched on the nostalgia that comes with graduation and the senior year that leads to this triumphant moment.

“Senior year is filled with melancholy moments. You had your first last day of school, your last time with your favorite teacher, your last football game you played with a team of boys you considered to be your brothers, your last fall musical where you were able to showcase your extraordinary self, the last time your mom will be able to zip you up into your prom dress, the last time you will be living in the same house as your parents or siblings, the last time it will only take you five minutes to drive to your best friend’s house. These moments may seem crushing to you, and trust me, I feel the exact same way. But do not lose sight of all the firsts that come with graduation,” she said. “Next fall is the first time you are living your own life.”

Rylie Johnson then gave the senior class address in which she spoke about every graduate being deserving to be celebrated for their accomplishments, with graduation being one of them.

“Across our graduating class, we have people who have received their associate’s degrees, while others signed to be college athletes. We have graduates going to Ivy League schools and others are staying here and going to Western. We have students graduating with a 4.0 GPA, while others are just praying that they have enough credits to graduate. Finally, we have graduates that are joining the military, others who are going to serve a mission, and others going straight into the workforce. No matter what your situation is, you all deserve to be here,” Johnson said.

Following a performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” by the GRHS Pack N’ Harmony, the diplomas were presented to the graduates. GRHS Principal Darren Heslep commended the students for their many academic and athletic achievements, including five state championship titles. He said when they started high school, it was just after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they faced the adversities with resilience. He said he has challenged them to be the change they want to see at GRHS, and now he challenges them to take that into the world.

The graduating class consists of 135 students, with over 64 students graduating with academic honors. Twenty-eight students earned a 3.9-4.0 GPA to graduate summa cum laude, 20 students earned 3.7-3.8 GPAs to graduate magna cum laude, and 16 students are graduating cum laude with 3.5-3.6 GPAs.

Laural Kurth gave the closing address, in which she joked about the essential things that got the senior class through high school.

“Your high school career is officially over. So I’d like to start by thanking a few of our essential sponsors, suggested by some of your peers. First is Stellar Coffe, specifically those Red Bulls. Second, Quizlet. Third, Google. Our pets. TikTok and phone games which are the best way to procrastinate. Badly named playlists… those terrible jokes of the day… and living in a constant state of denial.”

She also spoke to a few adults in her life to give advice on what they wish they knew heading into their adult lives. Kurth advised her classmates to remember they will be okay, and to move with life rather than against it.

“You’re going to be okay. The world is scary, and you are going to plan things and some of them will not happen. Everyone before you has been okay… when you leave this room, the world will not end. Life will go on, the question is, will you move with it?”

Abbagail Harrison then presented the Class of 2024, and they all moved their tassels to the left. For more photos of the GRHS Class of 2024 graduation, taken by Stephanie Peterson, see below.